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Stocks trade lower ahead of US jobs report

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An employee works at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022.

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed on Friday as investors anticipate the U.S. jobs report for August, a key indicator ahead of the Federal Reserve’s next interest rate decision later this month. -this.

South Korea’s consumer price index rose slower than expected 5.7% in August compared to the same period a year ago, less than the 6.1% forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan was nearly flat at 27,650.84, while the Topix index was down 0.27% at 1,930.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.66% in the last hour of trading and the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 1.28%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 closed down 0.25% at 6,828.70. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.26% to 2,409.41 and the Kosdaq fell 0.31% to 785.88.

The Mainland China Shanghai Composite edged up to 3,186.48 and the Shenzhen Component edged down to 11,702.39.

MSCI’s broadest Asia Pacific ex-Japan equity index was down 0.52%.

US crude and Brent crude extended their gains in afternoon trading, rising more than 2% each.

Economists predict 318,000 jobs were added in August, down from the 528,000 jobs added in July, according to Dow Jones. Unemployment is expected to remain unchanged at 3.5%.

“All the focus today is on payroll later tonight, where the [whisper] figure is for stronger than expected printing, which would add to the argument for a 75 basis point hike in September,” Tapas Strickland, an economist at National Australia Bank, wrote on Friday.

Overnight in the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 145.99 points, or about 0.5%, to 31,656.42. The S&P 500 added 0.3% to 3,966.85, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped about 0.3%, to 11,785.13.

– CNBC’s Patti Domm, Sarah Min and Tanaya Macheel contributed to this report.